Of sewing challenges and photo shoots

Summer is around the corner, and with all things bright and beautiful come a deluge of sewing challenges.

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I’ve been a long time lurker on The Monthly Stitch. No better reason to fully embrace this wonderful sewing group by participating in #indiepatternmonth! I chose to enter the PDF sewing pattern swop, and in the round robin swop, got sent the lovely Jenna cardi from Muse Patterns while picking the Bonnell dress from Dixie DIY Patterns. I am super excited about this challenge. It never crossed my mind to sew a cardigan before, even though i’m in one practically every day. At first I thought it would be too warm to sew for June, but then the fabric suggestions included stretch lace. And why not!?

The great thing about choosing the PDF swop instead of hard-copy swop, is that it gives you access not only to the one you got sent, but also the one you buy for your swop partner. So once I’m done with the Jenna cardi, I’ll be getting down to the Bonnell dress.

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And then there’s the annual #Simplicity sewing challenge! I soooo wanted to do tihis challenge last year but got caught up in packing and packing more boxes for our big move. As a measure of how excited I am about this, I’ve applied for TWO patterns. The vintage make and the childrenswear.

It’s been a busy month for me, meeting and speaking to the lovely Sara from Rocking Horse Photography. My Etsy shop is up and running, but has rather slapdash photos courtesy of yours truly. When Elaine from Celebrate With Love got in touch with me about stocking some of my clothes on her website, I knew I had to have much better photos or risk my stuff look like rag wear. So I’m off tomorrow to do the still shots at a park in Canary Wharf. The sun promises to be up and shining tomorrow, and hopefully the photos will capture the heart and soul of what baby clothes are all about. God help us trying to get G (and others) to pose nicely next month for the model shots.

The #SewingBee is back on our TV screens! This week was children’s week and I got such a kick out of seeing this Liberty fabric in the studio haberdashery!

Liberty Hearts

Just to say that it can make a beautiful romper, but perhaps in this bodysuit pattern style rather than the #sewingbee’s babygro pattern which has a fiddly gusset. Now imagine pattern matching that!!

 

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GBSB 3 Hour Slouchy Cardigan, Done and Dusted!

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It is finished! As we move into Spring in London, I thought I’d better get down to finishing the 3 hour slouchy cardi from the GBSB Fashion with Fabric book.

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I used Jersey to sew this up with a stretch needle. The longest part of this project, so to speak, was tracing the pattern out from the pattern pack.

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I’ve always found tracing patterns really tedious and almost gave up as a result. But I had blogged about doing this earlier and so got down to it.

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Once done, everything came together quite easily. It’s a ‘forgiving’ pattern so even if the cutting was’nt perfect at some points, it didn’t really make a difference when sewing it together.

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I used a zig zag stitch with black thread for the shoulders and side seams.

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The shoulder pleats were done with a straight stitch. I know the pattern calls for a twin needle to be used for this on aesthetic grounds but I thought a single stretch needle would be equally effective.

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And there we are!

The only changes I made to the pattern was to use bias binding for the back neckline. The pattern called for interfacing to stabilise this but I thought bias binding would work better as I had some polyester pink binding on hand. As polyester is lighter than cotten it helps stabilise the jersey while not dragging it down as cotton bias binding would.

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Final thoughts on this pattern? It’s very easy to sew but I’m just not really convinced jersey fabric is the way to go for this one as it seems ‘over-drapey” (if there is such a word!). Something done with fleece, for example, provides a little bit more shape to this but yet maintains the integrity of the original pattern. Still, I look forward to using this when out on our terrace playing with my son this Spring.

Making the 3 Hour Slouchy Cardi

Where has the time gone!?

I’ve still been sewing but just never found the time to write about it, reason being that my baby suddenly exploded into a boisterous toddler all of a sudden. These days I can’t even sit and type on my laptop as he’ll run over and want to sit on my lap and play with the mouse. He is having his nap now so I thought I’d better get round to my blog.

I’ve been sewing mostly children’s clothes over the last few months for the simply reason that it’s easier to trace the patterns (only one sheet usually required) and much faster too. I’ve mostly made jersey t-shirts for G with fun prints like the one below.


G in shirt

I also do some personalisation on onesies in the odd moment or two when my hands feel itchy but not itchy enough to put something together 🙂

G

And to get me off to a good sewing start in 2016 I’ve picked the 3 hour slouchy cardigan from the Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric book.I’m quite excited about this one as spring is around the corner (although the papers say snow is too!).

cardi project

I’m sufficiently confident these days about sewing with jersey so I’m quite excited to be making this project! Now to trace the pattern out 🙂

Jumping Into June with the Great British Sewing Bee Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits for June in the sewing world’s calendar and I jumped right into it after reading about it here. HandmadeChris promptly listed all who dared jump into this challenge and there was no ignoring it after the post! 🙂

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So Wikipedia tells me that none other than Yves Saint Laurent invented the jumpsuit. I have never sewn a jumpsuit before but have had 2 in my closet after catching Samantha in a gorgeous flowy white jumpsuit in SATC. I like the jumpsuit for its comfort and wear-ability, and most of all for being able to accommodate and visually slim down my thunder thighs.

I chose the Great British Sewing Bee : Fashion with Fabric pattern. I must confess that Simplicity 1355 came very close in the pattern stakes but after considering the number of boxes left to pack I decided to go with the #GBSB pattern. I had also previously sewn the #GBSB camisole top and was curious to see it in jumpsuit form.

After toying with a red gingham fabric (yes what was I thinking!), I went with a cotton floral print. The process itself starts off with making the pants first and that was easily done within an evening.

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I did a couple of things differently with the top this time. A rolled hem instead of pin hemming for the frill.

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I also skipped inserting a facing and sewed it directly on to the main body. Sorry! Facings can be such a pain and I didn’t think the fabric needed it :p

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Finally, pants were joined to the camisole with bias binding and elastic.

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And voila! In its jumpsuit glory. Not quite the sort Mick Jagger prances dances around in, not quite the sort Lewis Hamilton crashes races around in, but just what it is, my very own #handmade jumpsuit!

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So what happened when I Jumped into June with this Jumpsuit?

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There was a huge amount of trepidation when it came down to the fitting crunch as this is a no-zip-no-button jumpsuit. But not too bad! The fit was essentially fine but I was too generous with the length of the straps and the frill was quite a disaster from the back as I didn’t match it properly.

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My favorite bit of this jumpsuit? The rolled hem in gorgeous blue thread that makes it so fun and flirty!

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Paired with a nice silver glittery shoe and you have a perfect party outfit. I prefer jumpsuits with a wider flare at the ankles but I suppose the #GBSB pattern was drafted this way because of the various hacks you can sew off it. In all honesty, without a pair of heels this jumpsuit can look a little frumpy if you have a long torso with short legs like me!

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And here we have Milo wanting to join in the camera fun together with Boop 🙂

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So there you have it, #jumpingintojune with all its fun and laughter. Here’s to a wonderful month ahead 🙂

Now what are we sewing for July!? 😉